Forgotten or Remembered? Rural-Urban Connections in the Modern and in the Past.

Author(s): Britta Spaulding

Year: 2018


In the aftermath of the United States election in 2016, it was claimed that one reason for the outcome was that voters in rural areas were tired of being "forgotten" by the rest of the country. However, this statement is problematic in putting forth a rural-urban dichotomy that may not exist in modern times in the western world, and may have rarely existed in the past in the ways that some assert in popular media. While studying different forms of rural archaeology and landscapes, I have seen that rural forms of archaeology have often been sidelined for investigations into more "significant" urban remains. However, the archaeological record itself tends to indicate that a populace in a small farming, mining, timbering, or other rural-industrial economy is often not so very isolated, and vice-versa. Historical archaeology shows that dynamic interactions between the two "sides" mean that it is incorrect to assert strongly-drawn, almost "battle" lines between sections of society based upon where they live and work. I look at several comparative rural-urban studies, concentrating on the western world, to show that while economic activities may differ within a society, their overarching cultures, mores, and actual interactions create more cultural homogeneity than not.

Cite this Record

Forgotten or Remembered? Rural-Urban Connections in the Modern and in the Past.. Britta Spaulding. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443331)

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Abstract Id(s): 22374